Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Van TV & Storage

Though the TV hasn't actually made it into the van yet. Best buy had a sale so I went over and looked. Ended up buying a 19" LCD flat screen with a built in DVD player. 19 inches should be just big enough for the living space of the van. I had a few requirements - the TV had to be a flat screen, work as an external monitor,  it had to have a left loading DVD player and had to be big enough to be seen from these vantage points:
  1. While sitting in the reversed passenger seat.
  2. While at the dinette, seated behind the driver's seat/
  3. From the attic bed
The TV is an off-brand as I'm not one to bitch about whatever "p" it's running at as long the TV functions. I ended up paying about $190 for a LCD TV with a built in DVD player (that loaded from the left side since that was absolutely necessary) It also plays CDs and Mp3s and works as an external computer monitor.

Now I just need to find an articulating arm that will stand up to being in a vehicle and has a way to lock it against the wall when not in use.

I also picked up a new storage unit for inside the shower. The last one I bought worked well enough but was too wide. I decided to go taller yet more narrow so I can also fit a couple of cat carriers next to it.

Put together carriers are going to be a safety necessity so I picked the three with the most picky assembly hardware. Those are the ones that take me longer than 45 seconds to put together and won't be of use in a safety situation unless they're already built. They have the added benefit of allowing Anchovy and Tadpole to still sleep in their cubbies where they like to be. The top one is being used as storage for stuff that can't get squished.

I'm not any closer to having the mechanical work done. While I realize I could attempt to do it myself - that could take centuries so I'm still looking for someone to help me out.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Walmart Cashier

Thank you. I noticed you were charging me only for every other item in my cart. If I thought it was a mistake on your part I would have honestly pointed it out that some items were missed but the fact that you were picking up two items at a time , scanning one and putting them both in the bag told me you were trying to do a nice thing. I noticed and am grateful. =)

Monday, February 20, 2012

In Desperate Need Of A Mechanic

One who won't charge me an arm and a leg for the stuff I need done and someone who won't push me to fix things that I can't do right now. There is method to my madness. I am on limited income which means I have to do things in a certain order. Right now I need to get these two sending units I bought installed. They are taking up much needed space in the van. I also need to look into re-doing the exhaust. I know both tail pipes are in bad shape and need replaced but that's about as much as I know right now. It could probably stand to see an entire new exhaust since it's started running rather loud in the past couple days. A full tune up is also on my list.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 2 - After Eviction

I'm at G's house taking up residence in an extra bedroom. I feel okay. Won't say there hasn't been anxiety and a few panic attacks but overall I feel like I've taken this pretty well - I should I had a lot of time to prepare. I panic mostly when I think I've forgotten something that I can't find.

Today I went over to the house to pick up any mail that was left and to look for a small box I can't find (it has all my nail trimming tools in it and my daily wear charm necklace) I thought I packed it in the van weeks before the big move out but I have no idea where I put it heh.

The cats have taken well to moving from a whole house to a single room. I'm thinking this was probably a good down-sizing exercise for them since the next one moves us into a 19' living space. They worked out some grumbling but no real fights which is a plus.

The weather today looks pretty crappy so I guess I won't be tearing out the inside of the van (figures because yesterday I reorganized most of it) to look for this missing box. I think I may have put it under the plywood shelf in the tub but it's going to take some unstacking to get to it.

So begins this chapter. I plan on starting the next chapter in April right after my birthday. That's when I'll move into the van full time.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My House Was Auctioned Today

That's what they were beating on the door about. it was auctioned because I owe the property management $1435.53. They also deemed the property abandoned even though they know I have been here.

I just received notice that I need to have myself and belongings out of the property by 8am tomorrow morning because I am, as of now, considered trespassing.

Thankfully a contingency plan was in place prior to all of this because I wasn't expecting it to happen this way. I'll be temporarily moving into my friend G's house until I can get the van road worthy - read - when the fuel sending units are fixed.

I don't know when I will update here again as I have a ton of running to do tomorrow but I imagine it won't be too long before I'm back to posting regularly.

This Is Likely to Be The Week

I keep saying that and have happily been wrong but I can feel it. The property management was just at my house beating on all of my doors and windows. Two of them came this time so I have a feeling the sheriff's visit isn't too far away. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow but I think they're definitely going to kick me out this week.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

March Is Going To be Busy

Here's my current itinerary for March:

March 9 - 11 Monster Mania Con Cherry Hill, NJ

March 17 - 18 - St. Patty's Day (Silver's b-day) in Boston - somewhere

March 24 ShamrockFest - Washington DC

Holy crap I'm going to be exhausted!

It's F'ing Cold!

I really think I'm going to have to take that trip to PA to smack the fur off that gerbil for wishing cold weather on us. It's currently 29 degrees (16 with the wind chill) which makes for a frozen Cherry when you consider I have no central heat in my house. I'm working with a Holmes oil filled space heater (which the cats are currently circled around) and running my electric clothes dryer (modified to be able to vent inside) in 30 min cycles (thank the gods I am not paying my electric bill) just to keep the place above freezing. It is currently 43 degrees in my house!

I'm wearing a ton of clothes including two pairs of pants, two shirts and a hoodie, a scarf and fingerless gloves and drinking a literal butt ton of hot chocolate just to stay warm.

What else is there to do on a day when it's too cold to go out and work on my soon-to-be house but watch movies. I'm working my way through the Poltergeist flicks. I have to say that Reverend Henry Kane has got to be one of the all time creepiest horror heavies.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rain, Snow & Other Musings

Bleah. Supposed to be crap weather for the next two days. Figures, I planned to change the oil in the van tomorrow.

Tonight is a rare night out for me. Heading out to Orpheus with friends for b-day celebrations. It's goth night so I'm gearing myself for an onslaught of music and people (including youngin's since it;s an 18 and over bar) I don't particularly care for. The company of my friends will be good. Hopefully this trip to Orpheus won't end as badly as the last time I went there.

On the last fated trip to Orpheus I drank waaaaayyyy too much, knocked over their gumball machine, trashcan and a friend of mine. Proceeded to get entirely belligerent and spent 12 hours of the next day vomiting my guts out which busted the blood vessels in my right eye.

Fun, eh?

I don't actually plan on drinking more than 2 drinks tonight because the fuckity surroundings will likely put me into a belligerent state. Hell, they may have my picture next to the door and not even let me in. Heh.

I'm also now on the hunt for a small motorcycle I can put on the back of the van for short distance driving when I'm parked somewhere. No idea what I want.

Stain on the Brain

Finally got around to staining all the wood trim I pulled off the doors and sanded down about a month ago. It came out a bit uneven but I dig it and it's MUCH better than it was since a good many of the under-window pieces had water damage and bleaching.

Now if I can just remember where all the pieces go so I can put them back on. Should have taken a picture before I removed them.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Color Me - Unsurprised

In the nearly 30 years of coloring my hair I have realized one thing - red is the worst color to get out if you don't want it that color anymore.

The lighter brown I used was nearly the same color as my natural color but as it has faded out the red has begun peeking through again. This time I'm going for a darker brown. It's going to look severe at first (though no more so than when I was coloring to black) but I think it will gradually fade to the color I want.

So . . . here I sit with a head full of chemicals for the next 30 minutes. Whoopie. Here's hoping the red will be covered over so the brown doesn't turn brassy as it fades.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Life in the TP - Rule Reminder

I really don't understand my property management company. I just went to get the mail and in there (with no postage which is a federal offense I believe) was a notice titled "Rule Reminder"

I have apparently been issued a violation of community rules "per corporate visit". It says I need to power wash my home in the next 7 days.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Right. I'll get on that ASAP. Just like the last 5 times they've told me I need to power wash my house and the 4 times they've told me I need to remove a branch from the side yard. Oddly, that branch is still there (has been for nearly 7 months) and yet corporate didn't say anything about it.

Do they really think I'm going to spend the time to power wash a house they are trying to take from me? Idiots.

Another Day - No Sheriff

Not sure if this is due to the rainy couple of mornings we've had or if the property management is trying to bluff me into leaving. The letter they sent said I should go to "prevent the embarrassment of having a sheriff remove [me]." Sad for them, I don't get embarrassed.

Meh, I'm ready to go with the exception of packing the cats, The Immortal and some food into the van.

Speaking of the van . . . I managed to lock myself out of it for the first time (of what I'm sure will be many) yesterday afternoon. Thankfully earlier in the day I had all the windows open to air it out some and discovered something I won't detail here. That one little detail allowed me to gain access enough to grab my keys from where they were locked inside.

In any case, I made a stop last night and had a copy of my door key made which is now safely hidden on the van.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Awesome! Maybe that was the stress in the back of my mind. I filed for my last unemployment payment this past Sunday. 26 weeks of unemployment exhausted. I received a letter stating that I qualify for up to 20 more weeks under EUC. So I just called and spent 30 minutes on hold to speak to someone. I have to say today's case worker was probably the nicest woman I have ever dealt with in the few times I have dealt with social services or unemployment folks. I was approved and will not miss any payments once I start filing my webcerts this Sunday. My benefits aren't changing so I can breathe easy until I can get myself out of this state and into a work camping position for the summer.

Can't come at a better time since I'm moving out of the house tomorrow (since it looks like the sheriff won't be here today). Who knows maybe I'll wait tomorrow and see if they show up?

Stress and How I React To It

If the last 8 months has taught me anything it's how I react to stress even when I don't feel overly stressed.

I've been awake for about two and a half hours. I did some small projects in the van (see previous entries for today), had a cup of hot tea, a potassium supplement and a piece of toast. The neighbor behind me spotted me outside and chatted for a bit since he said he just heard yesterday that I was planning to live in the big van parked in my driveway (I guess he spoke to Dave across the street since he's really the only neighbor I talk to. As an aside I'm not sure how to feel about the neighborhood gossiping about me since I keep to myself and don't really interact with folks unless they corner me and then I only tell them stuff that I wouldn't care if it's repeated to the property management here in the hopes of buying me just a little more time). Said neighbor behind me expressed some concern for my well-being and also showed me his '77 Westfalia he's restoring. I came inside and watched a few Occupy videos from last nights eviction in Miami then headed back out to the van to continue organizing my shit.

While standing in the van I was overcome with nausea. The sprint between onset of nausea and getting inside to the bathroom was a close call as I began projectile vomiting. That's probably more info than you folks need to know but there it is. Apologies.

I'm not sick, don't feel under the weather, didn't eat anything that should have caused me to vomit - yet I did. I realize I am shouldering a bit of stress since I did have trouble eating yesterday and slept poorly last night but I really don't feel "stressed out" to a point where I'm overwhelmed. Yet . . . I know this is exactly what has caused this sudden purge and I can look back 8 months and see this is exactly how things started before. I seem to be on the fast track this time around since system purge came very late in the last stress reaction. I suffered many, many days of insomnia and inappetence before getting to this point. The question now becomes, How do I stop this before it drives me straight to the crevasse of insanity and back to the emergency room? Especially when I feel okay. If this is an early warning sign or I am fast tracking back to a full blown acute stress reaction and my situation is impossible to get around (meaning any step I take at this point is bound to cause some sort of stress reaction) then what am I to do?

Shower/ Closet Revisited

A little trial and error was needed here. While the closet was working perfectly for holding my belongings and bungee cords mostly kept things in place there are smaller things in there that just don't have an easy way to bungee them so they won't slide out and hit the floor. This is extremely unsafe and won't do.

It occurred to me that I still have the cargo net from the repossessed Tucson. 6 screws later and the whole closet has a removable cargo holder. Awesome! Sometimes I'm glad I've been one of those people who hasn't thrown otherwise useful things away just because I didn't have an immediate use for them! Granted, that part of me is slowly dying right now since I really don't have the space to tote things I can't/ won't use but for now and while I can still pilfer useful things from my house I'm a happy chick!

Waking Up Late

Woke up late this morning. I wanted to get up around 3 or 4 this morning to pack up the cats and The Immortal so we could get out of the house. It's 9am and I'm just getting up and there's rain in the forecast so it's unlikely my eviction will happen today. I'm debating whether to push through today.

It also seems that I am waiting on a letter from the state regarding my unemployment and the 2 months extension that was filed on the emergency unemployment stuff. This is a letter I desperately need so I'll have money to float me out west to look for work camping/ volunteer positions. Under the 2 months extension that was filed federally back in December (which I am barely falling under) it looks like I may be able to pull benefits through September if I wanted to. I really would rather not but the van is slowly draining me of the funds I had saved up. I'm looking at at least $1000 in gas just to get out that way. Ugh!

In fun news I picked up a hanging canvas organizer from Wally World yesterday. It fits nearly exactly on the wall under my thermostat - has one large pocket and two smaller ones on the front and one on the side that's big enough for my cell phone along with 5 hooks on the bottom for keys or whatever. It was originally priced at $14.99 but was in a discount bin so I picked it up for $6. Woot!